Friday News Dump: The Pattern Continues

February 6, 2013

Search “Obama Friday News Dump” on Google and you’ll get more than a million results.

Fridays tend to offer the most cover for anyone hoping to slip out news without too many people noticing (National Journal has a collection of such stories, available here.)

So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Obama administration took advantage of the Friday news dump – on the Friday going into the Super Bowl weekend, no less – to announce a change in the Obamacare rules affecting religious employers. These rules are commonly referred to as the HHS Mandate, a provision in Obamacare that requires employers to offer insurance plans with birth control, abortion-causing drugs and sterilizations. (Learn more about the HHS Mandate in this short Americans United for Life video.)

This isn’t the first time that the Obama administration has threatened our religious liberty on a Friday. Sure enough, the HHS Mandate was solidified in January 2012 and publicly disseminated on Friday, January 20, 2012.

Of course people noticed that Friday announcement and cried foul. Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh had a pointed response when he said, “The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, ‘To Hell with you!’”

So after three weeks of outcry by churches, religious-affiliated hospitals, universities, charities and others, the Obama administration responded with an “accommodation” to the HHS Mandate for certain religious employers. Can you guess? He announced the change on a Friday (Friday, February 10, 2012).

That so-called “accommodation” for religious-affiliated employers did nothing other than shift the burden of the cost of birth control to insurance companies, instead of the employer itself.

Now, nearly a year later, the Obama administration is out with another “accommodation” that they say respects religious concerns. But Friday’s announcement actually does nothing for religious businesses, individual employers or non-profit religious organizations that morally oppose the HHS Mandate.

Forty-four cases have been filed against the federal government over the HHS Mandate, including four in Indiana. We should expect the legal battles to continue (learn more about the cases here).

It doesn’t matter that the latest news came out on Friday. The fact that the Obama administration released unacceptable revisions to the HHS Mandate stirs a religious giant in this country that has been largely dormant since the election. Because when it comes to violating one’s own conscious and providing abortion-causing drugs that end a human life, the American people won’t remain quiet.

Oh, and pay attention to future Friday news releases. You never know what “accommodation” we’ll see next.

Becky Rogness
Communications Director
Indiana Right to Life

 

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